I’ve worked as a high school cheerleading coach for the past ten years. Due to severe weather and safety issues, my girls most often practice in the school’s gymnasium. We utilize the smooth surface of the gym floor and cheerleading mats to ensure stability and better protect the girls in the event of a fall. The gym is ideal during the winter months, because it’s well lit, large and heated. With outside temperatures that drop well below freezing and feet of snow on the ground, the heating system is a necessity. During the summer months, however, we don’t have access to air conditioning. We keep the gym doors wide open and sometimes set up a few fans, which provides very little relief.
The inside temperature of the gymnasium frequently climbs into the high nineties, and the air becomes horribly sticky. The girls drip with sweat and need to frequently hydrate. Since the summer season is short, and school is not in session, I don’t think there is any need to invest in a cooling system for the gym. The kids who are involved in school sports understand that heat and humidity is unavoidable. The football, baseball, and softball players practice outside, in direct sunlight, for hours at a time. I recently heard that the school was considering air conditioning for the auditorium. Apparently, the thespian club practices on the stage throughout the summer. There are approximately twenty kids in the thespian club. This doesn’t even compare to the number of students involved in sports. I can’t imagine why the school would waste tax dollars for the installation of a cooling system into an empty auditorium.